Last week’s several-inch snowfall that ended by late afternoon provided a blank canvas on which many of our wildlife species recorded their daily chores and routines.During my walk in the Stony Hill area, most conspicuous were the tracks, feeding scrapes and beds of the white-tailed deer, especially on the steeper, south-facing slopes. Gray squirrel tracks and feeding sign also were quite common. Their digging, unlike the deer, was not a random affair but confined to specific small holes, where they had cached food and marked the location last fall.
Chipmunks and white-footed mice also were out, their trails ducking under the snow and along logs more often than traveling on top of the snow.
All four species are big consumers of acorns during the fall and through the winter, and last fall’s huge acorn crop is still quite evident on the forest floor. A fifth species with a big appetite for acorns that is usually found in this area is the wild turkey, and I was surprised not to come across their tracks.
The resident red fox seemed more interested in scoping out old den sites and marking its territory. If the female hasn’t given birth to a litter of pups yet, it will any day soon.